Friday, August 12, 2011

Meh, Night-Blooming Jasmine Body Wash Is A Take-It Or Leave-It Experience

The Good: Smell is fine, Succeeds in getting one clean
The Bad: Price, Not distinctive, Ultimately average
The Basics: With a disappointingly generic floral scent, Night-Blooming Jasmine turns me away from the Pleasures Shower Gel line.

As I expand my reviews to include (at least one a day) things that are not media, I have the impression that my reviews will start to get into repetitive territory rather quickly. After writing about Bath and Body Works's amazing Cinnamon Bun Heaven 3-in-1 (reviewed here!), it seemed natural to me that I would review the Night-Blooming Jasmine Shower Gel I got free when I bought the 3-in-1. Bath and Body Works had a coupon that gave a buyer a free product from their "pleasures" line, which the Night-Blooming Jasmine Shower Gel is from, with the purchase of another item, so while this little bottle usually cost $9.00, I'm happy to say I got it free (and another coupon for a similar deal!).

My fear of coming up empty handed is because, on principle, I will not devolve my review into a list of ingredients. That's not an evaluation of the product any more than a track listing describes a musical album. I mean, how many ways may one write "Apply to pouf, washcloth, or lufa?" I have a great deal of respect for regular writers in the beauty section because - even as a professional writer - I'm challenged by trying to review something that smells good, you lather up and clean with.

Night-Blooming Jasmine is a pretty generic shower gel. Yes, it smells like Jasmine, at least what we consider jasmine when marketed, the same way we consider "cinnamon" the scent of the candles that does not exactly match the spice. Night-Blooming Jasmine is a very esoteric name for what is ultimately a very generic floral scent. Like orange blossom, jasmine has a sweetness and a dryness to the scent that makes it floral, but to the average user, indistinctly so.

Do you like the smell of flowers? You'll probably enjoy the scent of this product then. The thing is, in order to sell me on a $9.00 bottle for only 10 oz. of shower gel, I want the product to be extraordinary. It has to knock me off my feet. This did not. First, the scent does not trigger anything within me. I've been sitting in my den, writing this review, listening to music and the scent has permeated the room and more than making any form of statement or triggering any type of memory, my senses are just saying "eh, it's floral." Perhaps this is something that might be appreciated in a different region more. I don't have a childhood growing up on the plantation where the scent of night-blooming jasmine wafted in on the summer breeze through the window that I'm trying to recapture. Do you? Maybe this product is for you instead.

Moving on from the scent . . . this shower gel comes in the 10 oz. bottle from Bath and Body Works with a convenient push-button hinged cap. As well, the bottle is indented and ribbed near the top to make it easy to hold. This makes the product very easy to get out using one hand. It is easy to open and close the top with one finger while holding your pouf, lufa or washcloth in your other hand. After a week of use, I've not dropped the bottle once, which is nice, though it is certainly not unique to this product.

The directions recommend a button-sized drop of the product and I found I had to use about a nickle-sized drop to lather up adequately to cover my body (I'm rather tall). The product lathered up quite well and the scent permeates the room it is used in nicely. It rinses off nicely and leaves a faint scent.

After a week's use, I've noticed no drying of skin, no irritation, nothing but clean skin (I do not have sensitive skin). I have a wonderfully coincidental cut on my hand that allows me to write that this product will not irritate wounds, so it has that going for it. The scent, which definitely becomes more generically floral after the skin is dried off, lasts less than an hour with normal activity.

My difficulty here is this: how does one know when the soap or shower gel is cleaning you and when it is the washcloth/lufa/pouf? I mean, there are obvious exceptions here: I know that Lava soap is cleaning my hands when I use it, I know that when my hands are greasy, I can use dish soap to cut it and that will work fine. I'm clean after using the night-blooming jasmine shower gel, for sure. But is it because of the product or the instrument I applied it to?

Honestly, I did not feel more relaxed, energized or cleaner from using this than if I had used just a washcloth. Did I smell better? Sure. But this is not a product that I'd recommend for cutting a lot of dirt or to invigorate the user. Moreover, while the shower gel certainly did not dry my skin out, it did not moisturize my skin significantly either.

At the end of my day here, I've pledged to review products in this section with a sense toward the value of the product and by that litmus test, Night-Blooming Jasmine Shower Gel fails. At $9.00 a bottle, I want something that is distinctive, that will last and will do something for me. For the same price, I can get three bottles (usually with greater quantity) of shower gel/body wash from less expensive brands that provide at least as much of a sense of clean and have a scent that is equally good, possibly even identical.

In this case, the buyer is paying for the brand name and when it's something extraordinary or unique, that's fine. With the Night-Blooming Jasmine, it's not unique, nor extraordinary. And I won't advocate paying so much for so little.

Then again, if you grew up on a plantation with night-blooming jasmine growing outside your window, maybe the value is there . . .

For other Bath & Body Works products, please check out my reviews of:
Plumeria Anti-Bacterial hand gel
White Tea and Ginger body splash
Christmas Tree Vanilla Bean Noel soap


For other health and beauty product reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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